Material Handling Experts


Information on the products and techniques to better store, handle, and move products in your facility.

What is Dynamic Zone Allocation, and why do You Need it?

October 25, 2007

conveyor line dynamic zone allocation

A recent development in conveyor technology is dynamic zone allocation.

Zero and minimum pressure accumulation systems have been around for years, but suffered from variable loads. If you have zones of, say, 24″ and some cartons that are 15″, the smaller cartons have to take up space as if they were the longest load on the system. An animation depicting DZA can be found here.

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Are You Loading Pallet Rack Beams Near to Rated Capacity?

October 23, 2007

pallet rack loading diagram

It’s easy to understand the idea of pallet rack beam capacities. They’re listed, mostly, in a per-pair style and common in the 5,000 pound range so that you can rack a couple of 2,500-lb. pallets on a 96″ span. That’s probably the most common pallet storage setup in the world. But if you’re not loading pallets correctly, you aren’t getting your full capacity rating. This article on beam loading methods explains it in detail, but the basic story is that if your load does not fully overhang or rest on the tallest part of the beam, you aren’t getting the full capacity because you’re not using all the steel and your load isn’t setting flush in the horizontal space.

Loads that rest on decking or pallet support put more pressure on the thinnest vertical section of the beam, in the ‘step’. This can diminish beam capacities. I’m not saying you can’t load racks this way (people do it all the time) but that you need to check out the capacity of the beams when they’re loaded on the step, not the full beam.

Read the article. It tells the story better.

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Cisco-Eagle safety white paper recognized by Material Handling Industy of America

October 23, 2007

cover of safety brochureThis is an honor that I’m pleased with because one of the things material handling, when done right, does best is to make industrial facilities safer. When you are storing and handling heavy, bulk products, the way you do that has the potential to make the operation more dangerous (if you do it wrong) or safer (if you do it right). Companies that make a conscious effort to emphasize safety should start with the way they store things. That’s not the end of the safety story, it’s the start. But it’s an important start.

The The College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE) through MHIA awarded us third place for a white paper we published last year on material handling and safety — “15 Ways Material Handling Can Make Your Operation Safer”. There are more than 15, of course. There are probably as many ways as there are storage methods. And there are ways to enhance safety with simple products like guard rail and rack enclosures that also help operations in other ways.

You can get the PDF of the paper through the link above. You can also check out our index of materials handling safety related articles and resource links.

The award was a nice thing. To have placed with people like Modern Materials Handling and FKI was very gratifying for us. Thanks to Mike Ogle, CICMHE and MHIA for putting the awards together. It’s the second time we’ve placed. Maybe in 2009, the next time they run it, we can win!

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